Great British boltholes: Inside Burleigh Court, a VERY romantic Grade II listed Georgian mansion in the wilder end of the Cotswolds
- Jennifer Cox discovers that Burleigh Court is nestled in three acres of beautifully landscaped gardens
- The decor is a “riot of flamboyant botanical wallpapers, rich fabrics and gilded lamps,” she writes.
- During the summer months you can swim in the unheated but refreshing Art Deco pool
The Cotswolds can conjure up images of gently rolling green fields punctuated by impossibly cute honey-stone villages. But venture to its westernmost point, where the steep hills rise in great waves of limestone before crashing into the Severn Estuary, and things get more exciting.
High on the crest of the final escarpment is Minchinhampton Common, a vast ancient grassland where wild horses graze around Bronze Age burial mounds. Narrow, drystone-walled lanes criss-cross its valley sides – and one of them is Burleigh Court.
A Grade II listed Georgian mansion, built of local stone and nestled in three acres of exquisitely landscaped gardens, Burleigh Court is so hidden away, so private and so romantic that checking in with my husband felt like a delightfully wicked posting.
Private paradise: Jennifer Cox stayed at Burleigh Court, a Grade II listed Georgian mansion in the Cotswolds
Welcoming: Pictured is the living room where guests ‘relax in deep chairs clustered around the roaring fire’
Others clearly felt the same way. On wide terraces, couples huddled under rugs around fire pits, gazing down the verdant corridor of yews, hawthorns and beeches to the aptly named Golden Valley.
During the summer months, guests can tiptoe behind the walled garden to take a dip in the unheated but refreshing Art Deco pool.
Burleigh Court is certainly a labor of love. Recently reopened after extensive restorations by owners James and Corinna Rae, original features uncovered include remarkable fireplaces and beautiful parquet floors. Family antiques are scattered everywhere.
The result is elegant, warm and witty, a riot of flamboyant botanical wallpapers, rich fabrics and golden lamps, softened by neutral creams and soft greens.
Superb: There are 18 renovated rooms, plus a hostel ideal for families. In the photo, the “Romantic four-poster” room
Light pours into the welcoming lounge where guests relax in deep armchairs clustered around the crackling fire and card tables.
The large, oak-panelled restaurant is more formal, but chef Shaun Jones’ dishes — sourced from local producers and the hotel’s extensive vegetable gardens, including the orchard and beehives — allow the ingredients to shine. My seared halibut with foraged chanterelle mushrooms was satisfyingly fresh, while my husband barely spoke during his slow-cooked saddle of venison with venison suet pie. We reconnected around a vanilla panna cotta with poached rhubarb. The menu also highlights local producers, including Woodchester Valley wines, and Burleigh Court gardener Emanuelle Paulson curates seasonal wild-picking experiences.
There are 18 renovated rooms, ranging from pretty comfortable to superb, and there’s also a discount perfect for families. Individually decorated, each has the hotel’s organic toiletries. Foxgloves, our room overlooking the croquet lawn, was full of character. Opposite the extremely comfortable four-poster bed was a beautiful marble fireplace flanked by golden dogs, but there were also plenty of modern touches, including charging stations and a coffee machine.
Breakfast was a leisurely affair: I drizzled the hotel’s honey over fruit from the gardens, while my husband immersed himself in full English from a 35-mile radius.
The surrounding area is a delight to explore, but that night, as we dozed off to the high pitched hoot of owls and awoke gently the next morning to the watery trill of blackbirds, we were in no rush to go nowhere.